As part of our effort to not get stressed out and lighten the mood in our household, our family went to see a comedy heavyweight…Gabriel Iglesias, who by his own admission, tips the scales at 400 pounds. We saw the earlier of his two Friday night shows at the Wells Fargo Center.
We first became aware of Gabriel Iglesias when my daughters were flipping channels one night and landed on Comedy Central. His routine was very funny, though slightly R-rated in terms of language and subject matter. But his ability to tell a funny story, and tell a story funny, won us over.
I saw in the newspaper that he was going to be at the Wells Fargo Center. However, I was concerned about whether his live performance would be family-friendly fare because of what we had seen in his routine on TV and later when Jennifer had looked him up on YouTube. So when I went to buy tickets at the box office, I specifically asked if the show had “Mature Content.” For example, that description was given for Larry, the Cable Guy. I was assured that Gabriel’s show didn’t come with a “warning.”
Good. Our family had also recently seen Brian Regan at the Wells Fargo Center. He is a comedian who is incredibly funny and also very clean in his choice of material and delivery. I really enjoyed his show because I knew he wouldn’t be dropping any F-bombs and his stories would end up in a safe place.
On the day of Gabriel’s show, there was an article about him in the Press Democrat which described him as “squeaky-clean.” That made me wonder if the person writing the article had actually watched any of his routines; Disney Channel material they are not.
However, the article went on to emphasis his “clean comedy.” He said that he used to perform “really, really blue” – meaning adult humor – but that he had made a decision early on in his career to take that out.
Regardless that the person who wrote the article and I have different definitions of “squeaky clean,” I felt reassured that Gabriel would do a show that wouldn’t make me feel uncomfortable while watching it sitting next to my 13-year-old daughter.
There is always an act to warm up the audience before the headliner, and in Gabriel’s case, there were three comedians who performed before him. The first comic was only about a minute into his routine before it was apparent that he hadn’t gotten the memo that this show didn’t include “mature content.” His material and that of the other two comedians who followed him was pretty raunchy.
Also, hearing something in person always has more of an impact than when the same words are said but you’re watching them in a pixilated video in a three-inch window on your computer screen.
So I’m sitting there with my family, thinking this isn’t what I came to see. I felt misled by both the Wells Fargo Center and the newspaper; I had done my research so I would know what we could expect for the evening and this wasn’t it.
So did I get up and leave in a huff? No, the language and material wasn’t any worse than my daughters hear on the front steps of the high school every day. Did we enjoy Gabriel’s performance? Yes, very much so. But I think I’ll skip the live performances and stick with YouTube for a while.